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tv   News  Al Jazeera America  March 2, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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>> for more information on this, and other techknow stories. visit our website at don't miss techknow, sundays 7:30et / 4:30pt on al jazeera america good afternoon, to you and well thinl jazerra america i am morgan radford live in new york city and here are the stories that we are following for you right now. russian soldiers moved to surround a ukrainian military base in crimea. this amid warnings of a military interception. >> it's really 19th century behavior in the 21st censure. >> i this cannot be the way to conduct international affairs. >> plus a knife attack in a train station in china leaving 29 people dead. and at least 130 wounded. left out in the cold, one small
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group of volunteers is making a big difference trying to get the homeless off the frigid streets of new york city. ♪ ♪ ukraine has ordered full military mobilization in response to russian moved on the crimean peninsula. the acting president says the country is on the brink of disaster. they are calling up every single military preservist and russian troops have surrounded a military base in crimea. the minister calling it a declaration of war. second john kerry says the g8 countries including the u.s. are all prepared to diplomatically isolate rush a nato is meet to go discuss a response. jennifer, i remember you in a pretty tense stands off earlier this morning when we spoke. is there any progress being made so far to reduce those tensions?
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>> reporter: morgan that standoff continues at that military base. about 20 mints fro 20 minutes f. it's a base that's an armory, it has a lot of weapons and ammunition and lots of armored vehicles early this morning the russians went in and talked to the ukrainian commander to their layer arms down and turn everything over and let the russians secure the base he declined and hundreds of forces came in and surrounded the base, it was tense. the two commander met and agreed to lower their level of readiness and try to calm things down, but as darkness falls here, the russians were bedding in and we are not sure what will happen overnight. they have that base completely surrounded, morgan, not only along the perimeter but they have gone in to the over -- to the hills overlooking it. clearly a very strategic position. a lot of pressure and everyone though some. their weapons didn't have bullets in the weapons, certainly a lot of psychological pressure, morgan. >> can you describe some of that
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psychological pressure, jennif jennifer. >> reporter: well, you know, you have these less than 2,000 very young men, ukrainian soldiers inside this base, they were watching as these truckloads after truck load of russian soldiers came and took up position literally feet from them. literally on the other side of the fences there. so they know they are there and watching them. they know that they really are out gunned and there are more russian forces along the way. the colonel said he thought 15 more truckloads of soldiers came in. we saw another five trucks but it was just their supplies. their tents, the things this they need to hang out there. they will be keeping the pressure up on them, morgan. >> is there any chance that the ukrainian commander-in-chief will, in fact, surrender? >> reporter: the colonel said to us that he had no intention of surrendering, that he would keep the base if people came in the to the base if the russians tried to come in the base he and his men would fight. a very tense situation. everyone watching very closely what might happen there.
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it really is just going take one little thing here, one little flash point at any one of these bases for this to turn in to a very, very dangerous and difficult situation. >> jennifer glasse report following the situation from the very begin, thank so much, jennifer for being with us again this afternoon. reservists in kiev are already responding to calls from their government to mobilize. >> reporter: ukrainians are preparing themselves for war. in kiev, where where there has already been so much bloodshed. people expressed their allegiance to ukraine and their defiance of russia. it's fighting rhetoric and for now it still is only talk. parliament has been meeting in emergency session. afterwards, the prime minister said russia had brought them to the brink of disaster. >> this is not a threat, this is actually the declaration of war to my country.
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and we urge president putin to pull back his military and to stick to the international obligations and bilateral and lateral agreements that were signed between ukraine and russia. >> reporter: the army has opened recruiting stations across the country. there are nine in the capital alone. at this office on the outskirts of kiev, men were waiting outside even before the doors opened. people have been responding enthusiastically to the call to mobilize. here there are young men, there are older men, people with military experience, people without any military experience at all, but who still want to take part. we have visited a total of three stations in and around kiev and already in the first few hours several hundred people have enlisted. >> somehow we have to win. and i can't tell you that we
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will win but i am sure that we have to win and we'll do everything that you can see people, different age, from 18 to 60 they are volunteers. >> i know that russia is powerful that they have nuclear weapons but on the other side we have our friends in europe and the united states will already claim support, so we will fight until then. >> reporter: this is the gravest confrontation between russia and the west since the end of the cold war. what started here as a protest movement has escalated beyond what most of the demonstrators could have imagined. and it's not over yet. jackie roland, al jazerra, kiev. >> now as you just heard from jackie, ukraine's acting president is urging president putin to pull back his military. al jazerra's rory challands now has reaction from that in moscow. >> reporter: well, it is a waiting game now. vladimir putin has shown his hand.
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he has the mandate from the upper house of parliament to use military force if he so desires in ukraine. the big question is will he use that mandate or does he feel that the threat of military force is enough for russia to reassert its influence in ukraine? overnight the phone lines werwereabsolutely humming here h high-level conversations. vladimir putin spoke to barack obama, he smoke ban ki-moon the secretary general of united nations and spoke to the french president. in all of those conversations, he made exactly the same point, that russia was prepared to pretext its citizens, its fellow russians in crimea, and also protect the black sea fleet if violence escalates there. >> again, that's rory challands reporting from moscow. and right here in the united states, secretary of state john kerry sharply criticized russia on meet the press this morning.
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>> this is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. it's really 19th century behavior in the 21st century. president obama hopes that president putin will turn in the directs that is available to*u to him to work with all of us in a way that creates stability in ukraine, this does not have to be and should not be an east-west struggle. this is not about russia and the u.s. this is about the people of you crane. >> but obama's presidential power may have limits when it come to settling things over in ukraine fox, that perspective we turn now to mike have care who is live at the white house. mike, what are some of the administrations options at this .1234679 you are look at the spectrum and toolbox what's available to president obama anded administration at this point, it's unclear whether they have the tools that they need to really reverse what is evidently a very strong military course by
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vladimir putin and russia. secretary kerry made the rounds of the talk shows, the sunday talk shows here in washington today, sounding the same thing that you heard over and over again, and it's funny that the administration or at least interesting is still sticking to this line where they are down playing the east-west russia versus united states cold war redo line. secretary kerry saying this is not a zero sum game. not russia versus the united states trying to emphasize it is the ukrainian people and their future that is at stake here. nevertheless, clearly now, the pressure s is on the administration to respond. what are the options? sanctions, trying to isolate russia economically. point out to secretary kerry that the rul rubles is taking a beating in the actions from the last few hours, aid, visa bands, asset freezes, isolation trade and investment and perhaps the
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most high profile if not the most impact. in a practical sense, actually kicking russia out of the g8. for years it was known as the g7 after the cold war they brought russia in and talking about reversing it now and the going to this summer's g8 annual conference which, as it turn out is hosted by russia, in of all places sochi. >> but is isolating russia enough? if obama decides to collect the costs he threatened to friday, will the american people stand behind him 123-4679 the american people we stand behind him there is no question up and to military action that is something that is not on the table right now. unclear whether that's everybody feasible given the logistics and geography involved not to mention the fact that we are account after all, morgan, talking about the two remaining nuclear super powers in the world. nobody wants to everyone think about that. however, you really are struck today by the comments on some of the same sunday shows and elsewhere on twitter, social
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media, republicans, some of them foes normally of president obama on virtually every issue you care to name standing four square behind the president now in this confrontation with vladimir putin over the future of ukraine. >> but, mike, would an action on the part of the u.s. ornate owe make the u.s. or the west in general look weak? is that putin's end game in all of this from the beginning? >> reporter: i am not inside vladimir putin's head. i frankly think that much of the administration was sort of caught flat footed on this. you saw a series of escalating rhetorical statements from secretary kerry and president obama over the last 48 hours, but still hedging their bets not actually accusing russia of mobilizing their force to his send to crimea, siting press reports. and president obama stuck to that even as friday night he appeared in the press briefing room and delivered a strong statement. of course he did have that 90-minute conversation did president obama with vladimir
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putin yesterday, secretary kerry says he spoke with no fewer than 10 foreign ministers of players in the region. >> all right, mike viqueira joining us from washington, d.c. thanks for joining us this afternoon, mike. saturday strong words but little action at an emergency session of the security council. the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine william miller tells al jazerra that he's worried russia is risking an all-out war. >> the resort to arms which the russians have undertaken is a pathetic solution to a very complicated problem. they should talk to each other and sort things out. and it seems to me that the situation in ukraine demands the
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close working together of russia and the united states to avert a catastrophic world war. >> all right, let's take a quick look at the balance of forces between russia and ukraine. the russian army has 285,000 soldiers. that's more than four times as many as ukraine has which has only 64,000 soldiers. russia has twice as many thanks to twice as many tanks, 2,550 compared to 1,110 for ukraine, russia's air force 1,389 combat capable aircraft compared to ukraine's 221. that gives russia five times as many. and then when it comes to the navy, well, russia has 116 surface vessels and that's compared to 11 for ukraine. russia has 64 submarines, ukraine has one. joining us now are army knight a historian of russia and the forum soviet union and andré executive board member for the ukrainian congress commit foy
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america. lady and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. >> you are welcome. >> amy let's start with you, ukraine's interim crumb government is not even 72 howard old. are they really prepared to handle all of this. >> i think they are facing a real crisis. they must have had in the back of their minds that something like this could happen. because it's been discussed and the potability is there. but, yes, i think that they -- this is obviously thrown them in to a bit of disarray, but on the other hand, it could be a uniting factor. there might be a positive angle to this because there has been criticism in the way the interim government out of thed yanukovych and now it looks like their fears of russia are justified. >> you are mentioning the interim government. do you think this is what the protest earth had it mind? do you think this interim government is what they had envisioned?
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>> it's difficult to say because they represented so many different factions. in general the just of the whole practice test was for a more democratic government, which the people weren't getting with yanukovych. >> and andrea, i want to go back to something that you said earlier in our 11:00 hour, you said that you wanted to see john kerry and chuck hagel go to ukraine followed by you feel k. prime minister david. but what about president obama. >> the invitation is always open. we have had the price president's trip to the ukraine delayed a couple of times, we would like to see him over there as well. the need for having people standout there, why have the soldiers do it, why not have the diplomats do exactly what the people did in the square which is stand there, no weapon, prayer, holding hands, singing songs, they were there putting their life on the line in the line of snipers, so we would like the deposit mats to step up and say, hey, let's see if some peaceful negotiation can be made. can i point something out about the army statistics. that brash russian army relates
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their world forces those aren't the forces that would be mobilized for ukraine because they have five other active conflicts they are involved in. >> so you are saying a portion. >> yes, it would be their sixth actual conflict zone that he would be there. >> they are pretty spread out at this point. >> they are. they don't have the sign of the army that they had during the cold war. thirdly there was a great article in slate the other day about the demographics and geography of crimea. it dint have enough rainfall to subsift by itself or water supplies it's all trucked in from ukraine on pipelines as well as their electricity. >> why is it so important? >> it's symbolic. there is no land bridge between russia and crimea. there would have to do it by tankers and bringing electricity through new wires, the infrastructure isn't there for russia to combine with crimea. so it's mostly symbolic thing now which is i believe why the united states isn't doing anything, they just can't believe that putin would do
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something like this. >> and speaking of that, dr. knight, what do you think the u.s. should do at this juncture? >> there is not really too much that they can do particularly in military terms. i suppose nato could movies a troops to the border with ukraine between poland and ukraine, but it's quite clear that europe and the united states no matter how much you know, kerry mentioned that they are so united, there is really nothing more than economic pressure. now, that could actually -- >> you think the military is pleatly off thcompletely off th? >> actual movement of nato troops, i don't think this situation warrants that. but they are talking about economic sanctions and that actually could, in the longer term, prove pretty harmful to mr. putin, because after all, he is supported by an elite of russians who are very interested in close ties with the west. they don't want to get on black lists and not be able to have
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exchange. they want western investments. so, yeah, i think the economic lever is something that can be used. >> but it's interesting that you both think that the economic 11 and diplomacy respectively are such powerful tools here. earlier andré you said that your colleagues in washington said this issue was as big as iraq. so why should it then warrant a different response? >> we saw what happened there, didn't we? so we need to have a diplomatic solution. as i was discussing with the professor earlier, nato is a big part of this the. the baltic states member nations are part the russia's vision of their near abroad. they feel threatened they have seen what's happened in ukraine and george a, they have active military presence on them. there is a clause in the nato agreement that all nations have signed lithuania, two days ago invoked the fourth clause state that go they would like a meeting to discuss ramping up a crisis centers of nato in the
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sphere of russia to make sure that they understand that this -- these are nato countries especially the ones part of nato that they stand supporting this e. >> but ukraine's navy says it still has full fleet. >> yes. >> so they are prepared. do you not consider this an act of war? are they prepared to defend themselves if something like this happens? >> i believe a former consultant to putin and admin steer yesterday actually plainly said it was war. people on both sides are already calling it that. >> there is still room for putin to maneuver. >> primarily through economic sanctions. >> no, putin i am talking about. he's fallen short and hopefully will fall short of actually moving troops in to -- you know, in to ukraine proper. >> you don't think this is just the beginning? that crimea is just the beginning? >> i -- of course i hate to predict like everyone else i think it's entire possible that
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this is as far as putin will go. i just think that there are too many disadvantages and there would be too many repercussion fist you ramped things up. >> a the lot disadvantages and a lot of moving factors. thanks to our guests. placing blame. up next china points the finger at a separatist group they say is behind a deadly attack in the southwest city. we'll have this story and much more when al jazerra america returns.
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police in china are still looking for some of the attackers who killed 29 people at a southern train station. more than 10 assailants all dressed in black rampaged through the crowd with knives, police killed four of the attackers and captured another as horrified bystanders and train riders tried to flee the rampage. >> translator: i saw many people
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killed and a group carrying knives in the train station and then they ran way. >> stayed meet i can't says the attackers are ethnic muslim separatists from the country's west and two of them are believed to be women. plus live pictures coming up from hollywood where the red carpet is out and the nominations are in. ♪
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welcome back to al jazerra america, i am morgan radford. and here a recap of our top stories, russian troops have surround aid ukrainian military base in the southern region of crime i can't remember the ukrainian prime minister has called it a declaration of war and now calling up every single army reservist. nato is meet to go discuss a response. hundreds of thousands of homeless people will be suffering on the streets of american cities due to this winter's brutal temperatures but one small group of volunteers is making a pretty big difference, juan carlos molina reports.
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>> reporter: patricia works as a public defender during the day but this weekend she's a team leader helping to defends homeless from the elements. local nonprofit organizations enlist volunteers like patricia and her crew to help get the homeless off the streets. their approach is as direct as a campaign's mission statement. >> it's really about being able to talk to people and see what they need and what they are looking for and if they want shelter or food or they want clothing. >> reporter: the team starts the day with training and orientation at a church. then they hit the streets. stopping by a bus station. >> it's through the new york rescue mission and the bower reu mission so it's mission, peopled is have a meal. >> reporter: team members talk to several people inviting a number back to the church six accepted. once someone accepts an invitation from the street canvassing team they are brought back to the host church where
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they are fed a hot meal and also given some basic medical attention. that clues basic dental and eye care also from volunteers like jose chen, an op .co op to optoo offer the his services here after having done december similar verve cesc overseas. >> we have gone to peru helping over there. so we wanted to do something closer to home. >> reporter: across the country, in a winter that's brought record cold to some areas, homeless organizations have intensified their out reach. in philadelphia homeless shelters and the public to help find people living on the streets and in iowa this weekend the main shelter in des moines had people sleeping in chairs after all 150 beds filled up as the latest storm approach. back in new york, while everyone here got a hot meal. >> over at the resource table we can give you a bed for the night. we do not want anybody going
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back out on the streets. >> reporter: not all of those who came to eat stayed off the streets for the night. but for moon and her team, it was a success for a personal goal. >> this is a great way to show love to people. and you know, that sounds kind of cliché, but very much like i am here for you and talk to me and let me see, you know, what we can do for you. >> reporter: over the past month, these volunteers helped feed close to 600 homeless people in new york. and offer them all a chance to get off the streets and out of the cold at least for a while. juan carlos molina, al jazerra, new york. ♪ ♪ >> meteorologist: well that is certainly very impressive work. it's also going to be very cold across portions of the north central plains as we track in to this afternoon. you are looking at high temperatures, folks, minus two in minneapolis, typically this time of year, they are at
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34 degrees, subzero temperatures today. it's going to be very bitterly cold across oklahoma steal as well. as they only climb to a high of 16, dallas at 32 and you are looking at an icy mess on the roads this afternoon. now, the front is pushing on through a cold front that is and it's going to really give fuel to severe weather out break across portions of eastern texas in to louisiana later on today you can see this major change in the temperatures here. that will really fuel the storms looking at severe thunderstorms across new orleans back towards houston and certainly across corpus christy you need to be careful for damaging winds and even a chance for an isolated tornado definitely want to be careful on the roads with heavy rains expected. back to you, morgan. >> all right, thanks so much jelelah. here a live look at preparations for the academy awards in los angeles, california. in a few shorts hours stars will be arriving for hollywood's biggest night. as always thanks so much for
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watching al jazerra america i am morgan radford live from new york city, the stream weekend is coming you next. and remember, for news updates throughout the day you can head over to see you at 2:00. >> hi, you are sfreemz. dubbed unpolitically correct. we are joined by mel brooks, reflecting on 60 years of pushing the envelope in show bis. >> we are here and bringing your